The Nissan Armada (also known as Nissan Patrol) is a full-size off-road sports utility vehicle from the stable of Nissan and is sold in North America.
This 3-row SUV has an independent rear suspension, which makes the ride one of the smoothest and calmest in today’s age.
But despite the classiness of the Nissan Armada, it is known for its rear suspension issues.
In this post, we’ll look at these problems and how to overcome them. Let’s dive in.
Nissan Armada Rear Suspension Problems
1. Sagging Rear Suspension
The Nissan Armada comes with an auto-leveling rear suspension. This means the SUV automatically adjusts pressure in the rear suspension airbags. This helps your Nissan Armada maintain optimum ride heights and significantly reduces trailer sway, while suspension bounce is noticeably minimized.
However, if you notice the rear of your SUV is sagging (without hauling or towing anything), your Nissan Armada’s rear suspension could be in bad shape.
But before jumping to conclusions, adjust the rear ride height sensor to see if the compressor will kick on. You may have a case of a bad ride height sensor or blown a fuse. This is the best case.
The worst case could be that you have leaking struts, a bad compressor, and possible ECU problems because this is where the sensor transmits the signals before calling for the compressor.
The most common failure on the Nissan Armada’s compressor is the exhaust solenoid valve DTC C1803. Over time, this valve solenoid stays fully or partially open and initiates the sagging rear end of the SUV.
Get a professional auto mechanic to run some checks and do what is needed when the source of the problem is discovered.
2. Failure of the Auto-Leveling Suspension
When you notice that the back-end rides lower each time you shut down your Nissan Armada, something could be wrong with the auto-leveling suspension.
If you start up the SUV and the compressor comes up and raises the vehicle’s back end to level, it means the rear suspension system is leaking.
Using the Nissan Armada to tow cargo makes this suspension problem quite glaring. During towing, the vehicle’s back-end rides very low, and the compressor becomes incapable of keeping ahead of the leak.
This causes the back end of your Nissan Armada to continue riding dangerously low. Towing in these conditions causes the SUV to be extremely unstable and could lead to a severe road accident.
Check the condition of the compressor if you notice this trait in your Nissan Armada. If you cannot decipher the problem, get your vehicle to the nearest reputable auto mechanic in your area for a proper diagnosis.
3. Extreme Bouncing
If your Nissan Armada feels bouncier than usual or your SUV is riding rough and unsteady, your shock absorbers may be due for a replacement.
This is the right decision to take, especially if your tires are wearing unevenly and the handling of your Nissan Armada feels unstable. Likewise, this is the right call if the front of your SUV dips whenever you brake.
The primary role of shocks is to help stabilize your vehicle, which significantly boosts your Nissan Armada’s responsiveness when accelerating, braking, and turning.
Therefore, consider installing brand-new OEM shocks in order to maintain your vehicle’s overall performance and handling.
Experts recommend checking out and replacing your Nissan Armada’s shocks every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Of course, shocks do not have expiration dates. But ongoing driving on unpaved, bumpy roads or harsh driving may cause them to require replacement sooner rather than later.
4. Nonfunctional Compressor
When you load your Nissan Armada with a sizable cargo, the rear suspension naturally goes down as a result of the extra weight. But the self-leveling system mechanism kicks in automatically and readily adjusts the ride height.
But sometimes, the self-leveling mechanism fails to function as designed. This is primarily due to the failure of the compressor.
Therefore, troubleshoot the compressor problem by checking out the air compressor motor relay and fuses. Replace the relay and fuses, if necessary, then perform a self-leveling verification procedure involving a simple bounce on your vehicle’s corners.
If this doesn’t work, check out the compressor to confirm whether or not it is getting an adequate power supply.
Load the vehicle with cargo weighing up to 200kg and take the voltage reading. The voltage should read approximately 12V.
If the supply voltage is working properly, you may need to uninstall the compressor and examine it thoroughly to be sure it has not burned out. If it has, you may have to replace the compressor with a brand-new or OEM option.
5. The Brakes are Fine, But Stopping Takes Too Long
Most of the stopping force of your Armada is absorbed by the suspension. However, driving your SUV to a complete stop becomes much more difficult if the suspension is no longer functioning correctly. This is because your Armada asks the brake clippers to hold more weight than before.
This results in a considerable increase in stopping distance. This is why having an excellently functioning suspension is crucial. It can also be the significant difference between getting involved in an accident and avoiding one safely.
6. ‘Nose Diving’ Armada
Another primary function of your Nissan Armada’s suspension is the efficient spreading out of the force of your vehicle, stopping across the entire SUV. When your suspension functions correctly, your SUV comes to an even and smooth stop.
But if you notice that your Nissan Armada seems to be jerking forward or lurching, something has gone wrong with your suspension.
Over time and after extensive use, the suspension of your Armada will wear down. When it does, it will be incapable of providing the needed resistance to the weight of the SUV coming to a stop. As a result, your Armada will continue moving forward according to its line of travel while the wheels are stopped.
This leads to what is referred to as a ‘nose dive.’ The rear end of your Armada will pop up while its front section dives down. Only suspension issues can bring about this reaction.
The way out is to get your Nissan Armada to the local, most reputable auto mechanic shop for proper check-up.
Can You Drive a Nissan Armada with a Bad Rear Suspension?
Driving a Nissan Armada with a bad rear suspension is never a good idea. In fact, it is outrightly dangerous as it exposes you, your passengers, and other road users to the risk of a road accident.
A damaged rear suspension can cause your Nissan Armada to sag, which inadvertently affects the alignment angles of your SUV.
Other related components, such as its nonadjustable Hitachi shocks, struts, etc., can also be severely and negatively impacted. This would cost you a lot more money than you would have spent if you had attended immediately to the bad rear suspension of your Nissan Armada.
Therefore, never drive your Armada with a bad rear suspension to minimize risk to life and damage to related components.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Nissan Armada Rear Suspension?
According to RepairPal, the average cost of a Nissan Armada strut or suspension shock replacement ranges from $685 to $759. In addition, labor costs range from $169 to $545, while components are priced from $516 to $545.
These price ranges do not include fees and taxes. Your unique location and specific model year are also not factored in. Bear in mind that related repairs may also be necessary or required.
The price ranges are based primarily on the age and number of Nissan Armadas on the road.
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The Nissan Armada is one of the smoothest and calmest rides, and its 3-row independent rear suspension helps the vehicle move confidently and smoothly, including other active safety features.
However, users have complained of several issues with the Nissan Armada’s rear suspension. Those rear suspension problems have been highlighted above, and solutions have been suggested.
The tips should get you out of trouble anytime you have a challenge with the rear suspension of your Nissan Armada.